The cats' language contains 300 small, hollow, rigid, bucket-shaped slippers, allowing them to moisturize the base of the fur with saliva, and researchers from the United States watched them with the help of high resolution cameras.
Until now, the consensus pointed out that these papules were conical in shape, like claws, scientists wrote in an article published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). In reality, the papilla ends in small curved and hollow tips, the shape of which attracts and preserves saliva tension, and shifts to the bottom of the hair.
"It really looks like a tube cut in half," says Alecis Noel, co-author of the article with her lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Papillas "act like straw: when they put them in the liquid, they get up in this little cavity."
"When the cat resembles it, it lets you draw the fluids to the tops and make it profoundly penetrate into your hair," says this mechanics researcher, who has received her Ph.D. in Frog and Cats languages.
Cats, researchers remember in their article, spend a quarter of their lives drinking their languages (the cat sleeps 14 hours a day).
They keep their fur to remove dirt and pain and avoid knots. This layer contains an upper layer that protects it and the lower layer of foam for heat.
Cats breathe only through the legs: when it's hot, licking allows them to cool the body, plus saliva also has the power to clean.
The papilla measures an average of 2.3 millimeters in six types of felines, including a domestic cat, a tiger and a lion. The authors examined the languages of dead cats, and also captured the languages of domestic cats with a camera that shoots 100 photos per second.
Practical use after learning
Researchers, interested in the practical application of these findings, believe that brushes for people can be improved from the model of cats.
But they also registered a patent for possible industrial applications: "It could be very useful for carpet cleaning technologies, to inject fluids into fibers," said Alekis Noel. (E)